Aggrieved residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, on Friday took to major roads in the ancient city, protesting over the hardship they were experiencing over the scarcities of the new naira notes and fuel.
The News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, reports that the protesters, in their hundreds, blocked major areas of the capital city.
These areas included the Iwo Road Interchange, the frontage of the Oyo State Secretariat at Agodi and other major roads in the city.
At the state secretariat, the fierce looking youths forcefully opened the gate and moved into the complex, heading straight to the Governor’s Office situated within the complex, before they were, however, prevented from gaining entrance into the Governor’s Office, through the quick intervention of the security personnel manning the gates.
In the town, the protesters obstructed major roads, thereby hindering the free flow of traffic culminating in many commuters being left stranded.
At the Iwo Road Interchange, suspected hoodlums hijacked the protest.
NAN reports that the suspected hoodlums were seen blocking all the adjoining roads, burning tyres and harassing motorists and commuters.
At the Gate Bus Stop and Idi-Ape axis of th city, the protesters blocked the roads, diverting vehicles from the direction.
NAN also reports that a cross section of the protesters attributed their actions to the frustrations they are experiencing in the banks and filling stations.
As at the time of filling this report, the protest was spreading to other parts of the city.
In Academy and adjoining areas, street boys took advantage of the situation to extort motorists.
They blocked the roads and demanded for money.
The traffic at Iwo Road, which forced many to take the inner streets encouraged the touts the more.
The patrol vehicles of security agencies, particularly the police, were seen moving toward Iwo Road and Idi Ape areas of the city to restore normalcy.
Dugbe, the commercial nerve centre of the ancient town, was also not left out of the protest.
In his reaction, an artisan, Olu Akindele, said that he spent the whole day at the Automated Teller Machine point in one of the banks at Iwo Road on Thursday and was unable to get cash.
Akindele said, “The ATM was not dispensing, but I waited for hours, hoping that the bank officials would load it.
“We Nigerians have been contending with fuel and new naira notes scarcity for weeks across the country.
“I believe it is time for the government to take positive step to address the twins challenges we are battling with.”
A Point of Sale, PoS, operator, Funmi Irewole, also expressed frustration, as she could not withdraw either the old or the new notes from her deposit before the extension of the deadline.
Irewole called on the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, review its policy on the new naira notes to alleviate the sufferings of the citizens.